The news of pastor Louie Giglio being pulled from the upcoming inauguration ceremony of President Barack Obama has traveled far and wide. Giglio was originally invited, it seems, due to his laudable work to combat sex trafficking; he was apparently asked to step down by the White House because the homosexual lobby found a 15-year-old sermon in which he spoke of homosexuality as a sin and encouraged gays and lesbians to be changed through Jesus Christ.
This issue is of great import to CBMW. Working alongside and on behalf of countless local churches, we are the organization that has championed God’s plan for men and women for more than 25 years. A crucial part of this plan is marriage between men and women. The union of a man and a woman, in fact, is marriage. There is no other definition, as Princeton University scholar Robby George and others have pointed out.
Here you see the beauty of complementarity: a man and a woman come together, each different, each essential to the creation and loving sustenance of a family. Of course, in God’s design, no other arrangement can produce children; even if one creates life in a petri dish, one needs the genetic contributions of a man and a woman.
Basically everyone knows this and, at some level, accedes to it intellectually. Actually, the teeming majority of Americans practice it. It’s hard to pin a number down, but it seems from mainstream sources like Slate that 96-97% of Americans are heterosexual. That leaves 3% of Americans self-identifying as homosexual, according to recent data.
Let’s go back to Giglio. The homosexual lobby raised a war cry over Giglio’s invitation to deliver the benedictory prayer at President Obama’s inauguration. Their advocacy succeeded, and the administration apparently asked the Atlanta pastor to withdraw from the ceremony. What does this mean? It means that the self-identity of 3% of the American populace trumped the self-identity of 97% of it.
This is tremendously unfair; I can think of no other precedent, historically, of this magnitude. We just came through a major cultural upheaval over the wealthiest 1% of Americans. It was unfair that 1% of the populace would have so much power, right? Wasn’t that the contention of the Occupy Wall Street movement and its many-footed offshoots? And didn’t the Obama administration tap into this argument, with the President attacking Wall Street bankers for their lavish wealth?
This is what the “tyranny of the minority” looks like, friends. To confess in just one sermon that the homosexual lifestyle is a sin is to commit the unpardonable sin. To believe what a huge percentage of Americans believe–that heterosexuality is God’s plan for humanity–is now to err unforgivably. To stand for the basic union of a man and a woman as the essence and stability of the family is now to commit blasphemy.
This is a shocking development, and it is one that Christians must resist in a spirit of grace and truth. Our culture, quite simply, is embracing madness, and it is being led to do so by a tiny vanguard of thinkers. The American President would rather please the outspoken 3% than honor the heaping majority of citizens who practice heterosexuality. In times like these, know this: CBMW is in this conversation. We are here to speak. We will not be silent on this crucial issue.
We must speak. We are not “defending turf” by doing so. Alongside countless churches and organizations, we are seeking with every fiber of our being the full flourishing of humanity. We know by God’s grace that children need a father and a mother. We see that not following God’s plan–which is grounded to the fullest possible extent in the complementarity of the sexes–will surely lead to all manner of pain and ultimately to God’s judgment. We know this, because we were once facing the prospect of that judgment ourselves.
Out of love, then, we must speak.
And we must also urge pastors and Christian leaders to stand firm on this issue. Now is a time for profound courage. This is an age when the die is cast, and every Christian will be called to give an answer on this question: is homosexual practice wrong or right? Some of us are still able to evade doing so right now. But that likely won’t last for long. It won’t just be famous ministers who have to speak truth on this matter. In some form, all of us will–bricklayers and basketball coaches and homemakers and professors and truck drivers and financial analysts and everyone in between.
In 19th-century Japan, persecution of Christianity reached such heights in some areas that all citizens were required to declare their hatred of Christ by stepping on a representation of him. The choice was simple. Many believers did not do so, and they were killed for their refusal, some of them in boiling cauldrons. America is not, praise God, at such a place. But we too face a momentous choice. Will we dishonor God and deny his scriptural and creational truth? Or will we honor God and confess the wisdom of his full plan, knowing that this plan and this plan alone leads to human flourishing and his glory?
Whether homosexuality enjoys majority or minority-level support in coming days, we must answer well. We can do so knowing that in the new heavens and the new earth, all will know the Lord, all will confess his wisdom, and all will praise him for sustaining their faith in strange times.
This piece is cross-posted from the CBMW blog, where it originally appeared.